Groundwork’s Green Doctor is a free service that helps households to stay warm, stay well, save money on their household bills and reduce carbon. Groundwork are offering free training for community groups, to help you support people where you live.
Helping people stay warm and well
Millions of households in the UK live in fuel poverty yet very few people understand the scale and severity of this complex issue. Each winter thousands of people die as a direct result of being unable to afford to heat their homes.
The Green Doctor service is completely free and provides valuable assistance to many vulnerable households. It may be an elderly person needing help switching, a young family applying for energy grants, or someone suffering from a health condition that’s made worse by the cold who is struggling to heat their home.
People who live in a housing association home or in council housing, those who rent privately and people who own their own home are welcome to participate in the Green Doctor scheme. The aim is to help people make the most of their income and to empower people to make informed decisions about energy use.
Fuel Poverty Awareness Course for community groups and frontline workers
In order to increase awareness of this free service, the Green Doctors are running a series of presentations and training sessions for community groups and frontline workers.
In 2020, vital community groups and organisations in our local places have found it especially difficult to generate income to support their work. Key events over the Christmas period usually provide essential funding for many smaller organisations in particular. Without the local Christmas lights switch on events, lunches, Christmas fairs, carol concerts and other seasonal activities, some groups are finding that this support has all but disappeared.
Kirklees Council have provided an extra £50,000 to help community organisations meet some of these challenges. The extra funding has been added to councillors’ Ward Project Budgets. This is funding that Kirklees Councillors distribute to organisations and projects in their local area,
Who can apply?
Voluntary and community organisations who usually arrange festive events and activities over the Christmas and New Year period to generate income for their organisation.
Constituted groups can apply for up to £1,000.
What can groups apply for?
Essential costs of keeping current activities going.
Running costs due to loss of income – for example, insurance, utility costs, maintenance or transport costs.
Contributions towards volunteer expenses or staff salaries.
New or improved IT systems or software.
How and when can groups apply?
You will need to complete a short electronic application form to apply for funding.
TSL Kirklees are accepting applications from local groups
Kirklees Council have provided Third Sector Leaders Kirklees with a grant of £60,000, which is available for local groups who are supporting people in crisis or financial hardship.
This is funding from the Local Welfare Provision budget. It’s in addition to the £32,000 previously provided for emergency food supplies at the weekends during lockdown and helping local groups to continue to support people.
What the fund can be used for
The Supporting Communities fund can be used by community groups in Kirklees for:
Supporting people in financial hardship
Providing food and essential supplies
Set up costs and membership of food share schemes (for example, Fare Share)
Building financial resilience
How to apply
The application process is very simple and grants can be approved and given very quickly.
If you would like to find out more, chat through your ideas and apply please contact Bridget Hughes, Supporting Communities Lead:
The Great Winter Get Together is a month long series of activities run by the Jo Cox Foundation, lasting from 14th December 2020 to 18th January 2021. Taking forward Jo Cox’s vision of a “less lonely, more connected world”, the series of five themes are all about tackling loneliness one connection at a time.
Say Thanks is about shining a light on local heroes who have helped people throughout the coronavirus pandemic. There are postcards you can download, print and send to let those people know just how much they are appreciated, and images for sharing on social media.
More than ever before we need to support one another. This week is about encouraging people to connect with someone they’ve lost touch with, whether it’s an old friend or ex-colleague. If you’re not sure where to start, there’s a toolkit to help you with ideas.
Acts of kindness go a long way to showing someone you care. This is about bringing a smile to someone’s face, which can also make us feel good about ourselves. There’s a downloadable Kindness Calendar for each day of the week, with suggestions on things you can do to give someone a lift or contribute to making a kinder, more giving society.
Understand Loneliness – 4th January to 10th January
The changes many of us have experienced during the last year have been difficult, resulting in increased loneliness for many people in our communities. Loneliness has had an impact on our mental health and wellbeing. In partnership with the Marmalade Trust, a charity dedicated to raising awareness about loneliness, the foundation have produced a toolkit to help improve our understanding.
Volunteering is a great way to help support the most vulnerable in our community. Help Out is about finding out what you can give, whether that’s an hour, an evening or more, it all helps. Help Out is supported by the Royal Voluntary Service and there’s a toolkit to help you figure out how you can help this winter.
The Coronavirus Emergency Fund is reopen for applications. Grants are available from the One Community Foundation for a period up to March 31st 2021 – you must be able to spend your grant during this time.
One Community Foundation understands the impact that the Coronavirus is having on communities. With this in mind, the Foundation and their donors have come together to provide a response. They are keen to make sure that the organisations helping those most affected get the support that they need, so have reopened the Coronavirus Emergency Fund in partnership with NET (National Emergencies Trust).
How much can you apply for?
£5,000 for charitable organisations
£10,000 for Hubs or Anchor organisations (including those supporting mutual aid groups).
You must be able to spend all of your grant by March 2021.
Who can apply?
Voluntary and community organisations, including:
registered charities, including charitable incorporated organisations
constituted organisations and non-registered charities
community interest companies and community benefit societies
parish and town councils
Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs)
Churches and faith organisations
What can be funded?
The cost of food and hygiene products, delivery costs, for example, petrol, PPE and additional cleaning costs, volunteer costs responding to the effects of the crisis, staffing cost relating to the project, equipment costs etc. You can find the latest info and guidelines on the One Community website:
A new 24 hour mental health helpline has been launched, offering confidential help and advice to anyone registered with a GP in Kirklees or in neighbouring councils.
We know that many of you are concerned about the wellbeing of your neighbours, friends and those who are more vulnerable in our communities. We’re also aware that you’re doing an awful lot to support each other. This helpline could be a great way to get support for those who need it.
Mental Health Helpline – 0800 183 0558
Mental Health training
There is also some free training available to support you with talking about mental health, delivered by the Zero Suicide Alliance and Future Learn.
Zero Suicide Alliance offer a session called ‘Stepping up’ – this covers the impact of isolation on wellbeing, dealing with our ever-changing circumstances, the impact of social connectivity, signs of poor wellbeing, how to communicate and how to look after yourself.
Community Voices is about hearing the views of residents, especially those who are seldom heard, specifically in relation to health.
Did you know that the NHS has a duty to involve local communities when health service changes are being considered? Did you know that local voluntary or community organisations can train for free to get the knowledge and skills to carry out accredited engagement and consultation work locally?
The Community Voices programme supports voluntary and community organisations with training for their staff or volunteers to become an accredited ‘Community Voice’ and then seek the views of the organisation’s members to inform health service changes. Local groups and organisations are really well placed to help residents have a voice.
Once the accredited training has been completed, groups can earn money for their local voluntary or community organisation for each survey completed. Accreditation lasts for 12 months, at which point a refresher course needs to be taken.
The free training to help groups to become Community Voices has 5 elements:
Understanding how the NHS Works
Legal and Statutory Duties of the NHS
Methods and Approaches to Engagement and Consultation
A Practical Task
Equalities, safeguarding and review and evaluation
The next virtual Community Voices training runs on the following dates:
Session 1: Wednesday 20th January 2021
Session 2: Wednesday 27th January 2021
Session 3: Wednesday 3rd February 2021
Session 4: Wednesday 10th March 2021
All sessions are held online through Zoom and last from 10am to 12 noon. Participants need to be able to commit to attending all four sessions.
If you are interested or want more information please email email@example.com or contact Laura Beesley on 07535 184368.
S2R are offering a basic Mental Health Awareness training session free of charge via Zoom on Friday 27th November 2020 from 9am to 11am. This is for anyone who is a Mutual Aid Group volunteer in Kirklees.
By the end of the session you will be able to:
Understand the difference between mental health and mental illness
Know the main signs and symptoms of the most common mental illnesses
Understand the relationship between wellbeing and emotional resilience
S2R have also created 12 Wellbeing packs – these are all available for volunteers to use and share with people who may be self-isolating or who are lonely and might be struggling with depression and anxiety.
As you are supporting friends, neighbours and communities throughout the community response to Covid-19 we know that many of you will come across people and families in need of financial support.
There are many support services and organisations across Kirklees who can respond to this need, such as the Local Welfare Provision team, local hardship funds or Third Sector Leaders Kirklees.
If you are supporting someone (or know someone) who is in financial difficulty as a result of Covid-19, we recommend that you inform your local Anchor Organisation about this and ask for help.
Your Anchor Organisation should be aware of local hardship funds and how to access them. If a specific circumstance is particularly difficult, they will also be well placed to ask for help or find support where necessary.
You could also consider making a referral through the Covid-19 Community Response helpline. This should help to identify any additional support needs.
There is also financial support available through Third Sector Leaders Kirklees. You can find out more about this by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to your Anchor Organisation.